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SECTION 176-B
Volunteer members of fire district fire companies
Town (TWN) CHAPTER 62, ARTICLE 11
§ 176-b. Volunteer members of fire district fire companies. 1. The
volunteer members of a fire company shall be elected and appointed as
provided in this section.

2. The board of fire commissioners shall appoint residents of the fire
district as the volunteer members of any newly organized fire company.
Thereafter, the fire company may elect other eligible persons, including
fire district officers, as volunteer members. The election shall be
pursuant to the by-laws, if any, of the fire company; otherwise, by a
three-fourths vote of the members of the fire company present and voting
at a regular or special meeting thereof. The membership of any person so
elected shall become effective when approved by resolution of the board
of fire commissioners. Membership shall be deemed to have been approved
pursuant to this subdivision in the event that no action is taken by the
board of fire commissioners, either approving or disapproving, within
forty days after service of written notice of election to membership
shall have been made by the secretary of the fire company upon the
secretary of the board of fire commissioners, either personally or by
mail.

3. Any person elected to membership as a volunteer member of a fire
company shall be a resident of the fire district or of territory outside
the fire district which is afforded fire protection by the fire
department of the fire district, or any fire company thereof, pursuant
to a contract for fire protection, except as otherwise provided in
subdivision six.

4. The membership of a volunteer member of a fire company shall
terminate when he ceases to be a resident of the fire district or of any
territory outside the fire district which is afforded fire protection by
the fire department of the fire district, or any fire company thereof,
pursuant to a contract for fire protection, except as otherwise provided
in subdivision five.

5. Any fire company may authorize the continued membership of any
volunteer member where such member notifies the secretary of his or her
fire company (a) that he or she plans to change his or her residence to
territory which is not in the fire district and is not protected by the
fire department of the district, or any fire company thereof, pursuant
to a contract for fire protection, and (b) that by reason of his or her
residence in the vicinity or his or her usual occupation he or she will
be available to render active service as a volunteer firefighter in the
fire district or in territory outside the fire district which is
afforded fire protection pursuant to a contract for fire protection by
the fire department of the fire district, or a fire company thereof.
Such authorization shall be pursuant to the by-laws, if any, of the fire
company of which he or she is a member, otherwise by a three-fourths
vote of the members of such fire company present and voting at a regular
or special meeting thereof. Such authorization shall not become
effective unless approved by resolution of the board of fire
commissioners. Such authorization shall be deemed to have been approved
pursuant to this subdivision in the event that no action is taken by the
board of fire commissioners, either approving or disapproving, within
forty days after service of written notice of such authorization shall
have been made by the secretary of the fire company upon the secretary
of the board of fire commissioners, either personally or by mail. Any
membership continued pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision
shall terminate when the member cannot meet either the requirements of
this subdivision or the residence requirements of subdivision three of
this section. In the case of a fire district which adjoins another
state, the term "vicinity", as used in this subdivision, includes
territory in this state and territory in the adjoining state.

6. A person who cannot meet the residence requirements of subdivision
three of this section may be elected to membership as a volunteer member
of any fire company of the fire department if by reason of his or her
residence in the vicinity or his or her usual occupation he or her will
be available to render active service as a volunteer firefighter in the
fire district or in territory which is afforded fire protection pursuant
to a contract for fire protection by the fire department of the fire
district, or a fire company thereof. Such election shall be pursuant to
the by-laws, if any, of the fire company; otherwise by a three-fourths
vote of the members of the fire company present and voting at a regular
or special meeting thereof. The membership of any person so elected
shall not become effective unless approved by resolution of the board of
fire commissioners. Membership shall be deemed to have been approved
pursuant to this subdivision in the event that no action is taken by the
board of fire commissioners, either approving or disapproving within
seventy days after service of written notice of election to membership
shall have been made by the secretary of the fire company upon the
secretary of the board of fire commissioners, either personally or by
mail. The membership of any volunteer member elected pursuant to the
provisions of this subdivision shall terminate when the member cannot
meet either the requirements of this subdivision or the residence
requirements of subdivision three of this section. In the case of a fire
district which adjoins another state, the term "vicinity", as used in
this subdivision, includes territory in this state and territory in the
adjoining state.

7. (a) The membership of any volunteer firefighter shall not be
continued pursuant to subdivision five of this section, and persons
shall not be elected to membership pursuant to subdivision six of this
section, if, by so doing, the percentage of such non-resident members in
the fire company would exceed forty-five per centum of the actual
membership of the fire company, provided however, that the provisions of
this subdivision shall not apply to the memberships of the Shelter
Island Heights fire district, the Cherry Grove fire district, the Fire
Island Pines fire district, the Davis Park fire department, and the Cold
Spring Harbor fire district in Suffolk county, the New Hampton fire
district, the Mechanicstown fire district, the Pocatello fire district,
the Washington Heights fire district and the Good Will fire district in
Orange county, the Jericho fire district, the Westbury fire district and
the Roslyn Rescue Hook and Ladder Company, No. 1 in Nassau county, the
Orangeburg fire district in Rockland county, the South Lockport Fire
Company and the Terry's Corners volunteer fire company in Niagara
County, the Taunton fire district and the Onondaga Hill fire department
in Onondaga county, the Town of Batavia fire department in Genesee
County, the Schuyler Heights fire district, the Boght Community fire
district and the Slingerlands fire district I in Albany county, the town
of Providence fire district in Saratoga county, the River Road fire
district, No. 3 and the Armor Volunteer Fire Company in Erie county, the
Sir William Johnson Fire Company in Fulton county, the Fort Johnson Fire
district in Montgomery county or the memberships of the Millwood fire
district, the Purchase Fire District, the North Castle South Fire
District, No. 1 in Westchester county, the Thornwood fire company, No. 1
in Westchester county and the Rockland Lake fire district in Rockland
county.

(b) Upon application by a fire district or fire company to the state
fire administrator, the requirements of paragraph (a) of this
subdivision shall be waived, provided that no adjacent fire district
objects within sixty days of notice, published in the state register.
Any such objection shall be made in writing to the state fire
administrator setting forth the reasons such waiver should not be
granted. In cases where an objection is properly filed, the state fire
administrator shall have the authority to grant a waiver upon
consideration of (1) the difficulty of the fire company or district in
retaining and recruiting adequate personnel; (2) any alternative means
available to the fire company or district to address such difficulties;
and (3) the impact of such waiver on adjacent fire districts.

8. The board of fire commissioners by resolution may restrict the
membership of volunteer members in any or all of the fire companies of
the fire department to residents of the fire district. Any volunteer
member who then resides in territory outside the fire district shall
cease to be a member of any fire company to which the restriction is
applicable unless the resolution provides that his membership shall
continue during the existence of any contract for fire protection to
such territory by his company or during the period in which he may
continue to meet the requirements of subdivision three, five or six.

9. Residents of outside territory which is protected pursuant to a
contract for fire protection who have been elected to volunteer
membership, and non-residents whose volunteer memberships have been
continued or authorized pursuant to subdivision five or six of this
section may be elected or appointed to any office in the fire company or
fire department and, shall have all the powers, duties, immunities, and
privileges of resident volunteer members, except a non-resident of this
state whose membership has been continued pursuant to subdivision five
of this section, or a non-resident of this state who was elected to
membership pursuant to subdivision six of this section, shall not be
considered to be performing any firemanic duty, or to be engaged in any
firemanic activity, as a member of the fire company while he or she is
outside of this state unless and until he or she has first reported to
the officer or firefighter in command of his or her fire department, or
any company, squad or other unit thereof, engaged or to be engaged in
rendering service outside this state, or has received orders or
authorization from an officer of the fire department or fire company to
participate in or attend authorized activities outside of this state in
the same manner as resident members of the fire company.

10. A person shall not be eligible to volunteer membership in more
than one fire company at one time.

11. The term "contract for fire protection" as used in this section
means one under which a cash consideration is received by the fire
district or by the fire department or a fire company thereof for the
furnishing of fire protection to an area outside the fire district. Any
such contract shall be deemed in full force and effect for the purposes
of this section if negotiations are pending for the renewal thereof.

12. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to authorize
the election of any person as a member of a fire company, or the
continuance of membership in a fire company as herein provided, if such
election or continuance of membership shall be contrary to the by-laws,
rules or regulations of the fire company or of the fire department of
the fire district.

13. Any person:

(1) who was recognized prior to the first day of July, nineteen
hundred fifty-four, as a volunteer member of any fire company of the
fire district by the board of fire commissioners of the fire district or
by the officers and members of his fire company, and

(2) who rendered active service with such fire company prior to such
date, and

(3) who was, at the time of his or her election to membership, a
resident of the fire district or of territory outside the fire district
which was afforded fire protection by the fire department of the fire
district, or any fire company thereof, pursuant to a contract for fire
protection,
shall for all purposes in law be considered to have been duly elected
and appointed to membership in such fire company as of the date of such
appointment, if any, and, if none, then as of the date of such election;
notwithstanding that there may have been some legal defect in such
election, or the proceedings precedent thereto, or a failure of the
board of fire commissioners to appoint such member, as provided by the
law in force at the time of such election, and the status of such person
as a volunteer firefighter as of the date of such appointment or
election is hereby legalized, validated, and confirmed. This
subdivision shall not apply to a person, if any, whose volunteer
membership in a fire company was declared invalid by a court of
competent jurisdiction prior to the first day of January, nineteen
hundred fifty-five.

14. Any person:

(1) who was recognized on and after the first day of July, nineteen
hundred fifty-four and prior to the first day of January, two thousand
eleven, as a volunteer member of any fire company of the fire district
by the board of fire commissioners of the fire district or by the
officers and members of his fire company, and

(2) who rendered active service with such fire company between such
dates, and

(3) who was, at the time of his election to membership, a resident of
the fire district or of territory outside the fire district which was
afforded fire protection by the fire department of the fire district, or
any fire company thereof, pursuant to a contract for fire protection,
or, who was a nonresident who was elected to membership or who was
continued as a member, pursuant to the provisions of subdivision five or
six of this section, shall for all purposes in law be considered to have
been duly elected and approved, or continued, as a member in such fire
company as of the date of such approval, if any, and, if none, then as
of the date of such election or, in the case of a continuance, as of the
date of the approval, if any, by the board of fire commissioners, and,
if none, as of the date of authorization of continuance by the fire
company; notwithstanding that there may have been some legal defect in
such election, or the proceedings precedent thereto, or a failure of the
board of fire commissioners to approve such member, or approve the
continuance of membership of such member, as provided by the law in
force at the time of such election or continuance, and the status of
such person as a volunteer firefighter as of such date is hereby
legalized, validated, and confirmed. This subdivision shall not apply to
a person, if any, whose volunteer membership in a fire company was
disapproved by the board of fire commissioners or declared invalid by a
court of competent jurisdiction prior to the first day of January, two
thousand eleven.

15. (a) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any
volunteer fire department or fire company, through any member or members
thereof, officers, board of fire commissioners or other body or office
having power of appointment of volunteer firefighters in any fire
department or fire company pursuant to this section, because of the
race, creed, color, national origin, sex or marital status of any
individual, to exclude or to expel from its volunteer membership such
individual, or to discriminate against any of its members because of the
race, creed, color, national origin, sex or marital status of such
volunteer members.

(b) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory
practice pursuant to this section may by himself or his attorney at law
make, sign and file with the state division of human rights, a verified
complaint which shall set forth the particulars of the alleged unlawful
discriminatory practice and contain such other information as the
division of human rights may require. The division shall thereupon cause
to be made an investigation and disposition of the charges pursuant to
the provisions of article fifteen of the executive law.

16. A person who has been convicted of arson in any degree shall not
be eligible to be elected or appointed as a volunteer member of a fire
company. The membership of any volunteer member of a fire company shall
immediately terminate if he is convicted of arson in any degree while a
member of a fire company.

17. Upon application by any person for membership in a fire company
operating pursuant to this section, the fire chief shall cause the
applicant's background to be checked pursuant to section eight hundred
thirty-seven-o of the executive law for a criminal history involving a
conviction for arson and conviction of a crime which requires the person
to register as a sex offender under article six-C of the correction law.
Where such criminal history information includes conviction of a crime
which requires the person to register as a sex offender under article
six-C of the correction law, a fire company shall determine whether or
not such person shall be eligible to be elected or appointed as a
volunteer member of such fire company. Such determination shall be made
in accordance with the criteria established in sections seven hundred
fifty-two and seven hundred fifty-three of the correction law.